The petitions were gathered over a six-month period and involved the efforts of more than 40 volunteers who served as petition circulators for the campaign. More than 2,200 signatures were in the package, well beyond the required number of 1,776, the official target given to the Bozarth campaign by the secretary of state’s office late in 2013.
Bozarth said his volunteer force and his core group who helped contacting voters, as well as tracking and monitoring the signature gathering process, which by law must be conducted between Jan. 9 and July 8.
“This is a very daunting process, and I now understand why few independent and third party candidates ever make it to the ballot in Georgia,” he said. “However, we have been very careful to abide by all the rules, and I am quite confident that we will soon receive the news that our signatures are more than sufficient to get us on the ballot.”
Bozarth met Friday with State Elections Division personnel who performed an initial high-level inspection before passing the 204-page package to the Fulton County Election Board, which is responsible for validating the petitions.
“The signature-gathering process has given me insight to my neighbors I could never have gotten without knocking on doors,” Bozarth said. “Our experience confirms to me that voters are seeking something different: an ethical candidate with proven experience who won’t simply go down to the gold dome and conduct business as usual. I plan to deliver against those heightened expectations as I always have in my work career and in my community service. This whole process has drawn on a host of friends and other community leaders, to whom I am most grateful.”
Lora Hawk, Bozarth’s campaign spokeswoman, said it could take “a few weeks” for the board to rule on Bozarth’s candidacy.